For Reyan Grim and Matt Ferner for The Huffington Post. As the first major global meeting on drug policy in two decades approaches, Russia is quietly emerging as a powerful force working to perpetuate the war on drugs in the face of growing weariness with the quagmire worldwide.

Later in April, the United Nations will convene a special session on drug policy aimed at shaping the global approach in the decades to come. Key nations convened last month in Vienna to move the negotiations forward ahead of the gathering, and Russia threw up roadblocks at every opportunity.

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